Aug 24, 2023 - News

Denver mayor's homeless sites may land near museums, school

Data: Denver Mayor's Office; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston is looking to locate homeless communities near an elementary school, a neighborhood park, downtown museums and the Northfield development.

Driving the news: The mayor released the preliminary list of 11 locations Thursday, a mix of government and private properties that he said would combine to house 1,000 people currently living on the street.

Why it matters: The sites are sure to generate controversy for the new mayor, particularly the locations near neighborhoods and business districts, given the ongoing debate in Denver about the impacts of homelessness on property values and customer traffic.

The intrigue: The location at 1199 N. Bannock St. is in the tourist-heavy downtown museum district, while the 4595 N. Quebec St. site is near a shopping center and hotels in Northfield.

  • The 1498 Irving St. spot is off Colfax Avenue and diagonal from Cheltenham Elementary School.
  • The 5000 Tower Road location is across the street from Town Center Park in Green Valley Ranch.

Zoom in: Johnston said nine of the 11 properties are likely locations for hotels or micro-communities of people who are experiencing homelessness, but didn't specify which ones, the Denver Post reports.

  • Johnston labeled the community sites preliminary because the administration still needs to obtain permits and is negotiating with additional property owners about other options.

What he's saying: "We think all of these are promising sites that could work and they provide us a path to 1,000," Johnston said at a briefing. "But we will also continuously work on sourcing more sites."

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that one of the proposed sites is near a shopping center and hotels in Northfield (not a new Target and apartments in Lowry).


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